Poppies. Watercolor on 140 lb Arches cold pressed, 23 x 31 cm.My friend Patrick told me he'd been reading a lot about WWI recently, and was so moved by how absolutely terrible that war was that he decided to plant some coquelicot this year. In his garden the poppies are both pink and red, but when it came to painting them I decided to make them all red. These aren't Oriental poppies, which bloom earlier, but the more delicate papery variety, Papaver rhoeas -- commonly called the wild corn poppy, field poppy, or Flanders poppy -- that grows wild in European fields.
It's a bit frustrating to show these watercolor paintings reduced; they look quite different than in real life. Here are a couple of details, closer to lifesize.
I love the small nodding heads of poppy buds. I also love that vernacular French word for these field flowers, which I never knew before: coquelicot.
My wish on this Fourth of July is that one day all nationalisms will devolve into peaceful celebrations of the positive aspects of different world cultures, and cease forever to be an excuse for hatred, fear, exclusion, and war.